Mortal Chaos, Paperback Book
4.5 out of 5 (3 ratings)


'The Butterfly Effect ': the scientific theory that a single occurrence, no matter how small, can change the course of the universe forever. When a butterfly startles a young rabbit, and the rabbit makes a horse rear, it starts a chain of events, over the course of one day, that will change people's lives ...and end people's lives. From a climber on Everest to a boy in Malawi ...from a commercial pilot to an American psycho ...the chaos knows no bounds. This heart-stopping adventure by writer, film maker and climber Matt Dickinson will leave readers breathless.

It's the book Jack Bauer would have read as a teenager!


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Adventure
  • ISBN: 9780192757135

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Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews.

Review by

This book starts with a few everyday lives, a airline pilot late for work, a jockey on his way to a race and a couple of school kids who've nicked one of their dads gun and are bunking off school to hunt dear, along with a few more. Everything is, if not perfect, then not drastically terrible either, minor annoyances rather than major problems. But as the book progresses, while some characters leave, others arrive and the problems begin to grow; and they carry on building until the climactic end, when the four major plots all end in the same fifteen pages, and I'm sorry, but they aren't all happy.Matt Dickinson is a master writer, he can paint a vivid image in one or two sentences, and you understand exactly what he means. Anything from a crisp morning to a busy airport, this whole book is beautifully written.The chapters in this book are very short, with only a few lasting more than two pages, and there is a lot of jumping from one place to another, so you have to just take everything as it comes, and not worry about what happened in the last chapter or what might happen in the next, but I really enjoyed this fast paced style of writing, and it really increased the tension. I enjoyed reading this book so much because it's so different, a very easy read, yet beautifully written, and with plenty of time for tension to build. I eagerly await Dickinson's next book.

Review by

This fast-paced novel is very much helped by the short chapters. The front cover tells us that some will live, many will die but all are connected. The link between a couple of the characters is incidental but cleverly put together. Using his own knowledge and experience, the author has put together an interesting novel aimed at a wide-ranging audience. At times, the chapter length actually felt like the novel's downfall as I was speeding that quickly through the story there wasn't an opportunity to take it all in. Having read this in less than four hours it was short lived but it was still a good read. I found the butterfly superfluous to the story, however I appreciate that it is necessary for the title and it does make an intriguing cover. It is an enjoyable, albeit throwaway, read and I'd happily recommend it and furthermore I would read more by this author.

Review by

This is Matt Dickinson's first book for the YA market, although I gather that he is the author of several action/adventure book for adults. I'm not sure what I expected from Mortal Chaos, perhaps some kind of hi-octane action story, but what I got was something very different indeed. In fact, I am struggling to think of how I can describe it.<br/><br/>The premise of Mortal Chaos centres around an aspect of chaos theory known as the butterfly effect. This concept suggests that a small, seemingly minor incident can result in a major incident elsewhere. The usual example given is that of how the fluttering of a butterfly's wings could create ripples that eventually lead to a hurricane forming somewhere in the world. Matt Dickinson's story starts off with this infamous butterfly, but the consequences in this case have little to do with a hurricane, but are potentially as destructive as far as the lives of a number of disparate characters are concerned.<br/><br/>The characters in question range from a pair of boys bunking off school to go hunting in the local woods, to a female airline pilot, to a six year old African boy, to a teenage climbing prodigy on an ascent of Everest, to an american guy with his heart set on mass-murder. On the face of things their lives have absolutely nothing in common, and on any normal day their destinies would be completely unconnected. However, that darn butterfly changes this state of affairs with extreme consequences for some of them.<br/><br/>This book is only 286 pages long, and the sometimes only half-a-page chapters jump between the multitude of different characters as the day-in-their-life unfolds. It hooked me from the first few pages; so much so that before I knew it I was more than half way through and then just couldn't go to sleep before I had finished it. With so many characters gradually being introduced I initially thought that I would struggle to develop empathy for any of them, but the author manages to make you care about their various fates without you even realising he is doing it. The publisher's blurb states that "Some will live. Many will die. All are connected" and part of the appeal, and the moments of extreme tension I felt whilst reading it, was in trying to work out just who would or would not survive by the end of the book.<br/><br/>I will definitely be ordering this one for the school library as I think many boys will find its short chapters and fast paced stories as addictive as I did. I assumed that this book was a one-off, but in searching for the blurb to include at the beginning of this post I have discovered that Matt Dickinson has another book scheduled for publication in July. It does not appear to be a sequel as such, more a brand new series of stories based on the same butterfly effect theory. The details of Mortal Chaos: Deep Oblivion read as follows:<br/><br/>Hannah, homeless and on the run. Gwen and Tehpoe, kidnapped by violent rebels. Todd and Isabella, threatened by piranha attack. Wai Yan, hunted by a cruel dictator. Stian Olberg, fighting to save his vessel from imminent destruction. For them, and many others, things will never be the same again. Some will live. Many will die. All are connected.<br/><br/>Something worth waiting for I feel, if its predecessor is anything to go by.

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